'All-Star Celebrity Apprentice' Recap: Never Disrespect a Jackson
'All-Star Celebrity Apprentice' Recap: Never Disrespect a Jackson
Gina Pusateri
Gina Pusateri
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Three episodes into All-Star Celebrity Apprentice, we are down two rock stars, but there's still Gary Busey (who played a rock star once), so I guess he kind of counts?

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Back in the war room, everyone is still rolling their eyes over Omarosa's emotional display after last week's boardroom. It doesn't take a genius like Dennis Rodman to see that she is clearly milking the recent death of her famous fiance, Michael Clarke Duncan, to garner some kind of emotional advantage or sympathy from Donald Trump.

Speaking of The Donald, the teams meet him at the Paley Center for Media where he tells them about their first task. The teams are to write, direct and act in a five-minute mini soap opera in front of a live audience for Crystal Light's liquid drink flavors. They will be judged on audience reaction, creativity, execution and brand messaging. Famous soap stars Jack Wagner and Susan Lucci will each be assigned to work with a team to star in their pieces and offer them advice and counsel.

Team Plan B

LaToya volunteers to be the project manager for Plan B. Claudia is initially nervous because Team Power has all the acting chops, so they decide they need to step it up on the creative front to make up for that.

LaToya starts off by attempting to assert her leadership but Omarosa wastes no time steamrolling Miss Jackson by talking over her and never letting her finish a sentence.

LaToya decided to assign Dennis and Claudia to go out and get props and costumes, and Omarosa wanted to go with them, but LaToya had already assigned her to stay and help write the script. The two of them get into a verbal confrontation after LaToya tells Omarosa to "Please be quiet," and that somehow comes across as disrespectful to Omarosa. LaToya solves the problem by giving in to Omarosa's original gripe and sends her out to shop.

But Omarosa doesn't stop being a problem for her team there. After demanding a starring role in the sketch (because of the hundreds of soaps she's been in), she takes a phone call during rehearsal later that day regarding some tapes of her late fiance's 911 call and excuses herself from the task. Not only that, but she doesn't show up to the task the next day. Claudia is forced to step into Omarosa's role as the villain.

On the day of the performance, Omarosa shows up just in time for the task to start. Lil Jon helps distribute the Crystal Light to the audience and executives. They have a cute idea to have the audience take a sip of their Crystal Light every time they hear the "Dun Dun Dunnn" music. Unfortunately, they overuse the music, so it gets a little tired and barely gives the audience time to swallow their sip before they have to take another one.

LaToya also mixes up one of the names of the product, despite writing it on her hand, which is a huge no-no in a brand messaging challenge. Overall, though, the audience seems to enjoy their performance very much.

Team Power

Team Power may have all the acting talent, but that puts a greater expectation on them from the very beginning. Stephen starts things off by taking a dictatorial approach to being the project manager. But it's Penn's idea of using Crystal Light as an analogy for romance that they end up using. Stephen is frank in his confessionals, saying that if they lose because of concept, he will be taking Penn into the boardroom with him.

Their concept comes rather simply, and Arsenio Hall, who is an adviser on this challenge, thinks they are working very well together on the task. Trace also has a pretty adorable crush on Susan Lucci and just wants to create a scenario where he gets to swoop her up in his arms.

Things at Team Power are relatively drama free. Stephen's managing style pretty must consists of him being an unbearable micromanaging a-hole. Marilu is spot-on when she says that Stephen is an actor playing the role of a director.

Their performances go off very well, though with less audience reaction than Team Plan Bs. But the Crystal Light products are front and center in the sketch, with Penn spending the whole time making sure the products are featured.

Boardroom

LaToya continues to prove that she is not going to back down from Omarosa. She starts things off right away by admitting that Omarosa is the biggest problem on their team this week, but she gets little backup from the rest of her team. When it looks as though Omarosa is being shown in a bad light, she goes back into another "emotional breakdown" about her late fiance that puts on a brilliant display of fake crying and yelling at Arsenio Hall, who says she should have made it to the task despite her personal problems.

Everyone on Team Power agrees that Gary is the weak link on their team. If that sounds familiar, it's because that is what everyone has ever said about Gary since the beginning of his time on Celebrity Apprentice. And he responds in a calm and rational manner, saying that he did everything he was asked in this challenge. His boardroom demeanor is a testament to how he stays week after week. He manages to sound coherent once in a while and suddenly Trump thinks he's a mad genius.

As for the challenge, the executives like Team Plan Bs creative, but think that the product may have been a little lost because of it. They like Team Power's analogy idea, but wish they had used more than just one of the flavors in their demonstration. They decide they like Team Power's presentation better, and Stephen wins $50,000 for his charity, the Carol Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund.

Again, LaToya is finding herself alone in her battle against Omarosa, whose manipulation is almost impressive if it weren't so nasty and based on lies. She even asks (with the gall only a Jackson could have) Donald if she can fire Omarosa herself. He says no, so she shocks everyone (Ivanka actually drops her pen and clutches her pearls) when she says she's bringing back Dennis and Brande with her to face Donald in the final boardroom.

Arsenio thinks that she did it because she was scared to square off against Omarosa one-on-one. Donald and Ivanka can't understand why she would strengthen her own chances of being fired. LaToya says that she didn't bring her back because she thought Donald was buying into her "emotional breakdown" act. In the end, the reason doesn't really matter because it's just really, really, really stupid. Not bringing her back because she thought he wouldn't fire her is a guarantee that Omarosa wouldn't be fired, when there at least could have been a chance.

The decision is easy for Donald to fire LaToya and not the innocents caught in the crossfire. Now everyone is suffering the consequences of LaToya's decision: Omarosa survives another week to torture her teammates and the viewers.


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(Image courtesy of NBC)